Fall is such a cool time for meals and cooking. Not only does it bring in colder weather and pretty foliage but it's a great season for cooking. New foods are in season, temperatures changing means richer, warmer dishes. It's a fun time of the year whether you're a seasoned pro at cooking or just getting started.
One of the hot new trends for the season is spiced infused honey, particularly with habanero peppers, but also red pepper, ginger and all kinds of other flavors with a kick. Use with everything from hot tea to favorite desserts, or even as a glaze with fish or chicken. Henry's Humdingers raw honey blends elements like garlic, red pepper, ginger, red pepper, lime, chipotle and cinnamon into all natural raw honey. It's got a rich, thick texture that makes it great for cooking. Infused salts and sugars have also been trending for a while. Look for floral hints in salts in particular this season.
Paella is rising as a popular menu item at the moment, often made with the traditional seafood combinations, though it's appearing in all kinds of variations including chicken, beef, sausages, and of course, vegetables. It's a perfect dish for parties in particular as it's easy to make and can feed a large group -- not to mention everything cooks in a single pan and draws in the rich, savory and warm flavors and textures that make fall a favorite for meals and recipes. Experiment with ideas.
Speaking of ideas, there's an explosion of creative approaches in menu items playing on fall harvest favorites. So many interesting vegetables, fruits and other foods are in abundance. They pack different textures, flavors and cooking opportunities than the lighter fare of spring and summer. Absolutely take advantage of all that fall offers this year here. Pumpkins, of course, are the mainliner and there is plenty you can do with them, not to mention its so easy to work with. Those used for carving jack-o-lanterns and decor typically aren't ideal for cooking so be sure to pick up something that is. Sugar pumpkins are usually widely available and perfect for most dishes. Instead of going with desserts alone, roast and make into fresh pumpkin soup -- you can add everything from herbs like sage, onions or other items or just serve plain with a little bread for dipping.
Pumpkin ravioli, pasta sauce and other recipes are easy to find and generally easy to make. Though don't skip out on having this fall favorite in a few dessert dishes or drinks, too. Much of what you can do with pumpkin can also be worked with squash varieties.
Root vegetables of all kinds are also best bought during fall months with exception to beets (which are better in the summer). Root vegetables roasted and served as a side to common and popular breakfast dishes like egg scrambles or tossed into a frittata with egg whites are trending at the moment, though you can enjoy any of the root vegetables in a variety of ways. While there are so many more vegetables and fruits in season during this time of year, sweet potatoes are a must. Try dusting baked sweet potato fries with a little dried sage, or add fresh sage to common sweet potato dishes -- it's an incredible combination.
It's impossible not to forget apples this time of year. Seeing a lot of this item baked, either whole or in parts, and added to desserts and meals. Slice a few thinly and put on sandwiches -- it pairs really well with a lot of different meats and cheeses for a fun fall treat. We sliced up a few apples and topped with spiced infused honey, which made for a interesting and flavorful dessert.
You can't have all these good eats without a few drinks! Apple cider is of course popular, but it's apple cider beer that is really on trend lately. Angry Orchard gets a lot of buzz but most grocery stores have a great stock of different flavors and types. It's a light, crisp play on traditional beers and especially a fun for fall meals. Hot chocolate is the season go-to, especially for those with kids. Put a flavorful twist on yours with using white chocolate, or some of the spiced infused options found at the grocery. It's also great to top with a little fresh herbs or spices depending on what you are working with.
Steamed milk is also really great this time of year, and of course, teas of all kinds. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is an editor favorite, the new limited edition teas are delicious and fall perfect. Add a little of spiced infused honey to different tea types for a spicy kick perfect for fall and winter's chilly weather.